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Articles by Melissa Sweet

Ideological warrior takes on the Harper review of competition policy: Wonky Health in action

In his latest Wonky Health column, Dr Tim Senior investigates the implications for healthcare of the Harper Review into competition policy. He examines the ideology and the evidence that motivates both proponents and critics of competition in healthcare, and concludes “to continue pushing an agenda in the health system promoting choice and competition is done [...]

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Conference hears a damning critique of Indigenous housing program

Rosemary Cadden reports from the recent CRANAplus conference: An award-winning Australian company involved in housing projects in disadvantaged regions in Australia and around the world has raised serious questions about a national Indigenous housing initiative with a budget of $5.5 billion. Paul Pholeros, a director of Healthabitat, said successive governments had refused to look at evidence [...]

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Love rural? What WAS that all about…

Each year, the National Rural Health Alliance holds a “CouncilFest”, an event of many parts, including an opportunity for engaging in some policy development and advocacy. During the recent CouncilFest, many Croakey readers may have noticed an avalanche of photos on Twitter of people walking the Canberra halls of power wearing “Love rural” T-shirts. In [...]

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I Heart My People: some stories from behind the scenes

I Heart My People is a three-part documentary series on NITV (Weds 9.30pm), following several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and emergency professionals. Below are some of their stories (as provided by SBS). *** Stanley Ozies – Remote Aboriginal Health Worker, Derby I’m a Senior Aboriginal Health Worker at the Derby Aboriginal Health Service [...]

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Laughter yoga and Zumba – helping people with chronic kidney disease

Rosemary Cadden reports from the CRANAplus conference in Melbourne:  Far from assuming that people on dialysis are too sick to do physical exercise, Associate Professor Paul Bennett, from Monash Health and Deakin University, says Zumba and laughter yoga should be high on the health regime for people with chronic kidney disease. “It won’t cure kidney disease, but it [...]

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Hearing from the nurses who have seen the toll of Ebola up close and personal

“We need to go there and support them, and stop the hysterics”: this was the clear message from a session at the CRANAplus conference in Melbourne on Friday, which heard from two Australian nurses who have recently returned from deployments to West Africa. *** “We cry at night and work during the day” Rosemary Cadden [...]

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A letter to the first person to die of Ebola in the US, from Rob Oakeshott

“Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the United States, was not the right kind of victim for the west” – because he was black, poor and African. This argument is made by black feminist writer Hannah Giorgis (@ethiopiennesays) in an article in The Guardian, titled The problem with the west’s [...]

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What links the Ebola crisis and non-communicable diseases?

The role of poverty in contributing to the global Ebola crisis has been widely highlighted. Poverty is also an important driver of non communicable diseases, according to Dr Sandro Demaio, co founder of NCD Free, a creative global campaign that is pushing for major system changes to tackle these diseases. *** Sandro Demaio writes: If [...]

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Primary Health Networks – an opportunity for the AMA to make some money, expand its influence?

Now that some details about the 30 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have been released, it might be timely to see some serious analysis of who are the winners and the losers amid the considerable upheaval and waste involved in shifting from Medicare Locals to PHNs.  That is one warts-and-all analysis I would very much like [...]

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Health leaders pile pressure on Australian Government to step up on #Ebola

The Australian Government has been urged to step up its response to the global Ebola crisis and take a leadership role – in boosting Australia’s role in relief efforts, as well as in contributing more usefully to public debate. The call comes from Christopher Cliffe, CEO of CRANAplus, an organisation representing remote area health professionals [...]

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